Avoca West News

Week of March 1, 2017

Parent-Teacher Spring Conference Sign Ups -- Available on Monday, 3/6

Sign Up Genius Links for Spring Conferences

Our spring conferences are set to take place the afternoon/evenings of March 22nd and 23rd. On Monday, March 6th, I will be sending out an email to our Avoca West parents with the links for all of our staff members. Like fall conferences, parents will click on the link for their child's teacher and select a time slot via Sign Up Genius. No account is necessary to sign up! Stay tuned, and we hope all of our parents will take this time to connect with our teachers to determine the best way to finish the year strong!

Have a question for your child's teacher now? Feel free to reach out at any time to connect with our staff members. We're here to help!

Another Fun Fair in the Books!

It was wonderful to see so many faces at the Fun Fair this past weekend! How lucky we are to have the oodles of volunteers from our parents, staff, and Board of Education to help make the day a positive community building event! Thanks to all those who donated their time, energy, and even physical "prizes" for our raffle. We are truly blessed!

Calling all Incoming Kindergarten Kiddos!

Do you or someone you know have a child who will be 5 years old on or before September 1st? We are looking to gather preliminary information about our incoming vikings and wish to welcome all to our Kindergarten Parent Information Night (adults only, please) on Thursday, March 9th from 6:00-7:00pm. Parents are encouraged to bring with their child's birth certificate and two proofs of residency (tax bill, utility bill, lease agreement, etc.). We will have initial paperwork to be completed for parents that evening, but you can find links to the forms below as well. Please also pop into our Google form to provide contact information so we are able to reach out to you with any updates to share! Our kindergarten team is looking forward to welcoming our new batch of youngsters to the building! Thank you for your help in getting the word out.

Please note that filling out these forms and submitting residency/birth certificate is only the first step in the registration process. Parents will still need to complete an online process as well (May 2017).

What We're Working on At Avoca West in 2017

In addition to looking at the best resources and methods to teach the Common Core State Standards for Math, Avoca West's teachers are focusing their energy on trying to develop Visible Learners. What does this mean? Teachers have spent a great deal of our monthly professional development time to dive in and learn more about what it means to be a visible learner. This is based largely on the work of John Hattie who recognizes that "95% of what we do in schools works...but what works best?"

There are many facets of a visible learner that we hope to develop in our students, but those that our staff are focusing on this year (and will continue to focus on for future years) are making sure that students can:

  • state what they are learning and why they are learning to anyone who walks in the room at any time through writing, drawing, or speaking
  • set goals for their learning
  • identify what they don't understand when they don't understand
  • feel safe to take learning risks
  • identify available resources and how they can be used to help (ex: anchor charts, peers, "read the room," rubrics, etc.)
  • see the value and will be eager to try even when they are not successful the first time

These are traits/characteristics we hope to develop in all settings at Avoca West and will continue to reinforce and monitor how we're doing along the way.

Wondering how you can help at home? Much of the Visible Learning work is in line with Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset work and beliefs. I've included a good read for parents in the link below for a quick list of strategies to develop this thinking in your conversations with your children at home. Stay tuned for more resources!

Upcoming Dates to Note

3/4 - 8:00am-noon -- Science Olympiad Pancake Breakfast at Marie Murphy

3/6 - Sign Up for Parent-Teacher Conferences - links sent out in morning

3/7 - 7:00pm - PTC Meeting at Avoca West

3/9 - 6:00-7:00pm - Incoming Kindergarten PARENT Information Night

3/10 - 6:00-8:00pm - Girls' Night for Avoca West (held at Marie Murphy)

3/16 - 7:00pm - Sizzling Strings Concert at Marie Murphy

3/22 & 3/23 - Half Day Student Attendance -- Afternoon/Evening Conferences

3/24 - Teacher Institute Day - No Students

3/25 - Spring Break!

Check out the Avoca PTC's Updated Website

Don't forget to stop by the Avoca PTC website for updated information and dates to put on your calendar as well. There are many exciting events going on -- including our Spirit Wear sales!!

Questions? Comments?

Please feel free to reach out to ask any of our office staff for help!